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Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers,

I’m so excited! My podcast for pet sitters and dog walkers is now available!

You can find it on iTunes by searching for “Prosperous Pet Business”. When you click the ‘Subscribe’ button on iTunes, you’ll have the new episodes delivered to your smart phone as soon as they become available.

Or you can click to go straight to iTunes now to subscribe and listen to the Prosperous Pet Business podcast.

Are you someone who doesn’t use iTunes? No problem! You can get access to the episodes by going to the website of Prosperous Pet Business.
FAQ About The Podcast:

Q. How do I find and subscribe to the Prosperous Pet Business podcast on iTunes?
It’s easy! Go to iTunes and search for “Prosperous Pet Business”. If you don’t have an account on iTunes, you will need to sign up for one (it takes less than 2 minutes). When you find my podcast, be sure to click the ‘subscribe’ button to receive the weekly episodes or you can click here to go to the Prosperous Pet Business Podcast.

Q. How is the podcast different from your monthly webinars? 
The first difference is that the podcast is audio only whereas my monthly webinars are both audio and video.

Also, on my monthly webinars I dive deep into business-specific topics like hiring pet sitters, pet business start up, and SEO for pet business websites.

On the weekly podcast I will touch upon different business topics while also weaving in my life coach training to help you create a holistic, empowered approach to business. In the weekly podcast I incorporate mind, body, spirit combined with business logistics to help you thrive in your business and your life.

Q. I’ve never listened to a podcast. How and where can I listen to your podcast? 
Rest assured, it really is easy. Simply click this link to find the Prosperous Pet Business Business Podcast on iTunes and you’ll have the opportunity to subscribe. Hit the “subscribe” button and you’ll get weekly episodes delivered to your inbox.

Once you’ve subscribed to the podcast you can listen to the episodes on your computer or (if you prefer) on your smart phone while you are driving to a dog walking or dog training job or in your pet sitting office. My podcast is portable. You can take me wherever you go. 🙂

(Personally I enjoy listening to podcasts when I’m hiking, doing the dishes or at the gym. In the first podcast episode you’ll hear me describe what got me hooked on podcasts and where I like to listen to them.)

Q. What are some of the ‘goodies’ that pet business owners will get as a result of listening to the Prosperous Pet Business podcast? And where can I get those goodies?
During each episode you’ll hear me mention a website address that contains ‘show notes’ where you will find links to goodies that I mention during each segment. (This will make more sense once you listen to one of the podcast episodes–I recommend starting with Episode #1.)

You’ll also have the opportunity to connect with me and other pet business owners at the bottom of each podcast show note page through comments via Facebook and other commenting methods at the bottom of the episode pages. You’ll find the podcast episode show note pages to be interactive and fun!

Q. I’ve heard that you’ll be coaching pet business owners on some of the upcoming podcast episodes. I really need some help in my pet business! How can I be one of those pet business owners to get some complimentary coaching from you on the podcast? 
Yes! I’m very excited to be offering some podcast listeners the opportunity to be coached by me on an upcoming podcast coaching episode. If you have a pressing issue that you are grappling with in your pet business, please write a few sentences about your business challenge at the bottom of one of the show notes pages that I mention on the podcast episodes.

Those who write a short description of their business challenges and include their contact information on one of the show notes pages will be considered for the upcoming coaching podcast segment that I will be recording in a few weeks.

(Due to the volume of emails I receive from pet sitters, I ask that you please don’t contact me directly about being on one of the coaching podcast segments. Only those who write their challenges on the comments section at the bottom of the podcast show note pages mentioned in the podcast will be considered for upcoming coaching episodes. Thanks so much for understanding!)

Ready to create your best year yet? I recommend starting with Episode #1:

This is episode #1 of the podcast. I recommend you start with the first episode.

I hope you enjoy the podcast. I am really looking forward to reading your comments, topic suggestions and business challenges at the bottom of the show notes podcast page (again you’ll get the website address for the show notes and goodies when you listen to the podcast episodes).

Happy listening,

Kristin Morrison signature

 

 

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surprised lady

 

Pet sitters and dog walkers:

I’m so excited!

I’ve got SOMETHING BRAND NEW coming for you pet sitting and dog walking business owners!

I’ll be announcing what it is on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook on March 2, 2016.

If you are signed up for my weekly newsletter you’ll find out about it that way also or check back on this page next week and you’ll find out what it is. I think you are going to like it. Stay tuned…you’ll find out what it is next week. 🙂

Doing my happy dance,

Kristin Morrison signature

 

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Do you want to start a pet sitting business this year or create more profit in the one you have?pet sitting tips

Here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Decide on the type of animals you want to care for in order to be crystal-clear when it comes to your defining your niche. This may sound obvious yet many new pet sitting business owners haven’t thought this one through. If you don’t really like cats or are allergic to them then you’ll want to focus primarily on dogs and other animals that you feel comfortable caring for (or hire someone else to care for your cat clients). If you really enjoy -and are experienced with- caring for horses and other farm animals then starting a ranch animal care service might really help word spread about your specialized service. And if you are a big time cat lover: start a cat-only pet sitting service–you’ll be amazing at how many cat-only clients will love that you specialize in felines.

When you focus your business primarily on the animals you enjoy caring for you’ll often be more successful because clients will know they are your Right Clients. Why? Because they have the type of animals you specialize in. Also that joy that you have for those particular animals will come shining through in everything–your meet and greets, your marketing materials and the smile that lights up your face when you are with the animal types you most enjoy. And joy for what we love brings more clients.

2. Decide upon the pet care services you’ll providing. This is as important as deciding upon your niche. One of the first actions I’ll take with new pet business coaching clients is to look at their website and do a quick ‘website audit’. I often see pet sitters listing 10 or more services on their websites and the page just swims with services! It’s too much. It’s overwhelming to clients. We are living in an age where overwhelm happens easily to us humans due to all the information out there. Keep things simple. Don’t list more than 5 services on your services page.

3. Create a marketing plan with daily activities in order to focus on income-producing activities. If you are used to working for someone else then it can be hard to know what to put your attention on when you are a new pet business owner. If you are a new pet sitting business owner or you aren’t seeing your client list (or profit) increase, I recommend putting at least 30 minutes a day into marketing, 5 days a week.

Marketing doesn’t just happen. You actually have to get out there (in the real world and online) in order to promote your services to the public. Create a list of all the marketing activities you can and want to do to promote your business and put those tasks on your weekly and monthly calendar.

Want more? Click for more start up tips for pet sitters.

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Does your pet sitting and dog walking business come up high on the search engines? Google unzipped

Do you feel disappointed when you Google your city and ‘pet sitting’ or ‘dog walking’ and find your pet sitting and dog walking business doesn’t come up very high on the search engines (if at all?)

I love coaching pet sitters and dog walkers on SEO because change happens so quickly. When they make the changes I recommend in their SEO session, within 1-3 weeks their websites come up high (really high) on Google and other search engines. It’s thrilling for both of us!

Try this right now to see if you need SEO for your pet sitting and dog walking website:

  1. Google a city you want more pet sitting or dog walking business in and include the words ‘pet sitting’ or ‘dog walking’ in your search (example: San Francisco pet sitting).
  2. Does your business come up on page one? If not, you need SEO done on your site.

I offer SEO coaching sessions. It’s fun, it’s easy and it’s quick. I do a complete ‘audit’ of your pet sitting website and tell you where to put certain keyword phrases on the pages. You’ll come up higher on the search engines for certain keyword phrases when you make the changes I suggest.

Interested in getting your website higher up on Google and other search engines ?

Click to find out more and to sign up now to get SEO for pet sitting and dog walking websites.

 

 

 

 

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This is often the time of year when pet business owners think about raising rates (but few actually do it).
Here’s how raising rates can take you to the next level financially (without you doing more work):
Let’s say you have 10 dog walking clients who use you Monday through Friday
You have been afraid to raise your rates because you think if you do perhaps your clients will go elsewhere for service (they probably won’t but your fear has held you back).
same old thinking

But one day you get very COURAGEOUS. And you bravely write a rate increase email and raise your rates $2 more per walk.

You are trembling a bit with fear as you push ‘send’ but you are proud of yourself for taking the leap to do it.

Within one week of sending the rate increase letter, your fear has turned to excitement because…

With just those 10 dog walking clients you’ve earned $100 more that week due to the rate increase.

…And $400 more that month!

You have been afraid to raise your rates because you think if you do perhaps your clients will go elsewhere for service (they probably won’t but your fear has held you back).

At the end of 12 months you’ve earned a grand total of $4,800 more from your 10 dog walking clients…without doing more work…except walking through the fear of writing your rate increase letter and pushing SEND.

So I encourage you: if you haven’t raised your rates in awhile, do it!

And if you need help writing a rate increase letter, scroll down to the bottom of this page to get a rate increase template for your pet sitting and dog walking clients.

Enjoy all that money that you’ll be earning as a result of raising your rates,

Kristin Morrison signature

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sparklerReady to step into the New Year in an empowered, clear way?

So many pet sitters and dog walkers don’t go into their new year with a clear game plan for the next 12 months. That can lead to not accomplishing what you really want to create in your business and your life. A business plan is the GPS that is the guide to get us to where we want to go.

I created this visioning/goal setting workbook just for you, pet sitter and dog walker!

If you are ready to create your best year yet, this workbook is ready for you.

So…light a candle, enjoy a date with yourself and your business by diving into this workbook. It takes about 90 minutes and you’ll come away  with clarity about what happened last year and where you want to go this year.

Click to get your free pet business goal setting workbook.

Enjoy and happiest of New Years to you,

Kristin Morrison signatureKristin4

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trademarkAre you one of the rare few pet sitting business owners who have a trademark for your pet sitting and dog walking business?

If so, you don’t need to read this. Run along! Have fun!

But if you don’t have a trademark for your pet sitting business…please do read this. Reading this may save you thousands of dollars – and a lot of heartache down the road. (And we all know how important it is to save money and to be good to our hearts.)

A few years ago I was coaching a woman who had a business name that was similar to a well-known franchise.

I alerted her to this in her pet sitting coaching session and asked her if she was aware of the franchise and the fact that her business name was very similar to that franchise.

“Oh yeah”, she said. “I know about that franchise but my business is such a small business that it’s not going to be a problem. And my business name isn’t identical so it’s not a big deal.”

I strongly recommended that she change her name because I suspected that it might become a problem at some point.

She decided not to change her name.

She didn’t want to go through the hassle of changing her business name. She also said that it would cost too much to change all her marketing materials.

In the next session I again urged her to change her name.

But she didn’t want to change her business name and so she didn’t. (I will usually bring up ‘red flags’ a couple of times in my pet sitting coaching sessions with clients and after that, I let it go. I’m here to shine the business flashlight for my clients, not cram it down their throat.) 🙂

A few years later I received a frantic email from this same woman. The franchise had contacted her and had demanded that she change her business name immediately or they would take legal action against her.

She was scared. She was also angry that this big, horrible (her words, not mine) company was coming after her because here she was a small company and wasn’t competing with them, a big franchise. And her name wasn’t identical. Why would they bother coming after her? (She was pissed. But underneath the anger -as it is for most of us- was fear.)

She lost a lot of sleep for the next few days and finally decided to change her business name. She didn’t want to spend the thousands of dollars to fight this company and both I (and her attorney) told her she would have lost the case anyway, since her name was so similar and they held the trademark.

I’ve had to deal with this a number of times in my own business…

Recently someone was using the phrase ‘six-figure pet business’ in their marketing materials and many of you alerted me to this (thank you, dear ones, you guys are the best!)

I sent an email alerting this person to the fact that I hold the trademark and that using that phrase is illegal. Who knows if this person realized that what they did was illegal (it doesn’t really matter if they realized that or not) but what matters is that I, as the business owner, need to defend my business name, especially if it’s causing confusion for my clients. And if you have the trademark for your business name and someone is using the same or similar name then it’s important for you to defend your business too.

And don’t worry – if you have the trademark for your business name then defending your name will probably come naturally for you as some of our most primal feelings come up when we see someone who is using our trademarked business name. Those primal feelings are usually enough to fuel us to take action!

I had to do a lot of trademark defending when I owned my pet sitting and dog walking business. I had the trademark for my business name and had to ‘go after’ business owners who had similar -or the same- names as mine.

I disliked doing that (one of my least favorite parts of owning a business is defending the trademark, let me tell you) BUT when similar names create confusion for clients (even if the businesses with similar names are on opposite ends of the country) it’s one of those actions that you simply have to take as a business owner.

And this is why when that franchise went after my client, I didn’t blame them at all. Her business name was creating confusion for their company. They had to defend their company. And if it happens to you and your trademarked business name, you will need (and want) to do defend your business too.

So, pet business owners, here are some action steps for you around trademark issues:

1. If you don’t have a trademark, get a trademark for your pet business name. As soon as possible. (And be sure to use a lawyer to set up the trademark because that will ensure that if it’s yours to get, you will get it. Years ago I had the experience of applying for a trademark and my application was rejected. I then used a lawyer to apply for the trademark and they were able to successfully get me the trademark.) Please note that the application approval or rejection process can take many months so you’ll need to be patient.

 2. If your business name can’t be trademarked then change your name so it can be trademarked. (The longer you wait, the more painful it will be to have to change your name if someone comes after you for trademark infringement. And when that happens, it won’t be pretty and it will be very expensive if the trademark suit goes to court.)

3. If you have a trademark and someone is using your name (or a very similar name that could cause confusion), contact them with a friendly email first. I know, I know. Believe me, I know. It feels like someone is stealing your business name -and they are and yes, it’s illegal- and you are probably angry about that but do give them the benefit of the doubt. They may not know that your business exists. They may not be aware that you hold the trademark for that business name. (It’s unlikely in this age of powerful search engines but you never know.) Assume their innocence. Keep the email short and sweet and write something simple like: “I’m not sure if you are aware or not but I hold the trademark for ______ (your business name). Your business name is identical (or very similar) to mine and is causing confusion for my clients. Please change your business name by _______ (date). Failure to do so will result in legal action. Thanks.”

4. If the ‘friendly email’ doesn’t work then you’ll want to hire a lawyer to send a ‘cease and desist’ letter to them. (My fiance’ is a lawyer and he tells me that in the legal world those ‘cease and desist’ letters are called NastyGrams.) 🙂

If you need to send a ‘NastyGram’ or need to have a trademark attorney set up your trademark for you, I recommend searching online for “low cost legal aid” or “Pre-Paid Legal” and your town to find an inexpensive attorney in your area who can help you.

Good luck and happy trademarking!

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self care 2

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SmallFinalProsperousPetBusinessBanner

The Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference is almost here!

For those of you who didn’t attend last year’s conference, here’s what it is: it’s a FREE (yes, free!) online conference for all service-based pet professionals including dog walkers, pet groomers, dog trainers, pet sitters and doggy day care owners.speaker box 2015

We have interviewed 20 top pet business experts including Victoria Stilwell, Ian Dunbar, Andrea Arden and Patti Moran from Pet Sitters International.

Here’s how the conference works: we release 1-2 speaker videos a day from Sept. 8-Sept. 22, 2015. You’ll have 24 hours to watch each daily speaker interview(s). Most of the speakers are offering valuable free gifts too!

Don’t have time to watch them all or want unlimited viewing? No problem. During the conference, we’ll have the speaker video package available for unlimited viewing for a low price.

Click for more information and to sign up now for the Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference.

 

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Perhaps you’ve had the experience of a client saying they never received your emails…or you have never received theirs. inbox image

Frustrating, isn’t it?

Or you’ve had a client or friend say, “Please ‘whitelist’ my email so you are sure to get it.”  …But you don’t know how to ‘whitelist’ (or even know what ‘whitelist’ is).

To whitelist an email is simply to alert your email system that the particular email isn’t spam or junk. When you ‘whitelist’ an email it ensures that, no matter what, you will receive future emails in your regular inbox (not in your spam or junk folders).

Here’s what to send your clients when your emails aren’t getting to their emails. And if their emails aren’t getting to you, you can do what I’ve written below in order to ‘whitelist’ their emails so they don’t go in your spam or junk folder or worse…disappear!

I encourage you to simply copy and paste this letter below and simply insert your email address! Please note that everywhere a line appears (______) you should insert your email there before you send to your clients.

How To “Whitelist” Our Emails So You Receive Our Emails  (We Know Your Time is Valuable So Don’t Worry ~ It Only Takes a Minute!)

Below is information on how to ‘whitelist’ _________ with AOL, Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook, Apple Mail, ThunderBird and Postini.

Even if your ISP or email program is not listed, with these instructions you should be able to figure out how to ‘whitelist’ our email address at any ISP or with any email program.

Also, if you find email from ______________ in your spam or junk folder, please take that opportunity to tell your mail program that it is not spam by hitting the “not spam”, “not junk” or similar button, as that will train your program to whitelist it.

AOL

To add _____________ to your AOL address book:email

  1. Open an email from us and then click the ‘This Is Not Spam’ button
  2. Click the Mail menu and select Address Book
  3. Wait for the Address Book window to pop up, then click the ‘Add’ button
  4. Wait for the Address Card for New Contact window to load
  5. Paste _______________ into the ‘Other E-Mail’ field
  6. Make our “From” address, _______________, the Primary E-Mail address by checking the appropriate box
  7. Click “Save”

Yahoo!

To whitelist ________________with Yahoo!, you will need to set up a “filter” after first taking the following steps:

  1. If you find email from ___________________ is going to your Yahoo! bulk folder, open it and click “Not Spam”
  2. Be sure that the address _________________ is not in your “Blocked Addresses” list. If _________________ is on your “Blocked Addresses” list, select it and click “Remove Block”

Now to create the filter:

  1. Open your mail and click on “Mail Options” in the upper right hand corner
  2. Select ‘Filters’ (in the bottom left corner)
  3. On the Filters page, click “Add”
  4. Select the “From header:” rule, and add “contains” and ____________________ which tells the system to put email with ___________________ in your inbox and not the bulk folder.
  5. Click the “Choose Folder” pull down menu and select ‘Inbox’
  6. Pick the Add Filter button

Hotmail

To whitelist our address with Hotmail you will need to add ______________________ to your Hotmail Safe List. Here’s how:

  1. First, if you find email from us in your Hotmail junk folder, open the email and click “Not Junk”
  2. Next, check to see if if the email address _________________ is on your Blocked Senders list. If you find _______________ on your Hotmail blocked senders list, select it and click on the “Remove” button.
  3. Next, open your mailbox and click “Options” in the upper right hand corner
  4. At the top of the page, click on the “Junk E-mail Protection” link
  5. Next, click on “Safe List”, which is down near the bottom
  6. Copy and paste _____________________ where it says “Type an address or domain”
  7. Click the “Add” button

Gmail

  1. First, if you find email from us in your Gmail spam folder, select our email and click the “Not Spam” button
  2. Next, open an email that you have received from us
  3. Click on the little down-pointing-triangle-arrow next to “Reply”:
  4. Click “Add ***INSERT NAME HERE*** to Contacts list”

Microsoft Outlook 

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options
  2. On the Preferences tab, click Junk E-mail
  3. On the Safe Senders tab, click Add
  4. Add ________________ where it says “Add address”
  5. Click OK

Thunderbird

To whitelist in Thunderbird, you will need to add ___________________to your address book, and then set up your Thunderbird Junk Mail Controls to whitelist your address book.

  1. First, if you find email from ___________________ in your Junk folder, right-click on our email and choose “Mark as Not Junk”
  2. Next, click the Address Book button
  3. Highlight the Personal Address Book
  4. Click on “New Card”
  5. In the “Contact” tab of the new card, copy and paste _____________________ to the email dialog box
  6. Click “Ok”
  7. Next, to whitelist your address book, select “Tools > Junk Mail Controls” from the drop down menu
  8. Update the “White Lists” module under the “Settings” tab by selecting “Personal Address Book” from the drop down menu, and then check the box next to “Do not mark messages as junk mail”
  9. Click “Ok”

Apple Mail for OS X

  1. First, if email from ________________________ ends up in your junk folder, highlight or open it and click “Not Junk” at the top of your screen.

Then:

  1. Go to Mail > Preferences from your Mail menu
  2. Go to the Rules tab
  3. Select Add Rule
  4. Give this rule a name such as “INSERT NAME HERE”
  5. Create a rule that says “If any of the following conditions are met: ‘From’ ‘Contains’” and then paste in “___________________”
  6. From the actions, select ‘Move message’ to mailbox ‘Inbox’.
  7. Click “OK”

Postini you've got mail

You do not need to whitelist email from Simply Hired in Postini unless you find it trapped in the “Junk” area by Postini.

  1. Log into your Postini account
  2. Look to see if any email from ______________________ is listed in your Junk area
  3. If you find email from ____________________in the Junk area, check the check box next to the email from ________________Click the “Deliver Selected” link at the very top of the Junk screen
  4. On the next screen, click the “Approve Sender” check box next to the email from _________________
  5. Click the “Approve Selected Senders” button

Thanks for taking the time to do this. We look forward to appearing in your inbox soon!

NOTE FROM KRISTIN: Try doing this now with our emails:

Success@SixFigurePetSittingAcademy.com

and Success@SFPSA.com

…so you can make sure it works for you before trying it on your client emails. And this will also ensure that you receive our emails. 🙂

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